Meet Our Future Homeowners | Jonathan & Sarah

Jonathan, his wife Sarah, and their three children, baby Adrian, Arianna (8), and Jonathan Jr. (9) have lived in a two-bedroom rental apartment in Chula Vista for the past three years. Arianna and Jonathan, Jr. share a bedroom in the small apartment. Health, safety, and maintenance issues go unaddressed by the landlord. There are no safe spaces for the children to play outside.

Jonathan proudly served in the United States Marine Corps for four years, participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom and earning a variety of medals, ribbons, badges, certificates, and letters in celebration of his exemplary service. For the past seven years, he has worked as a salesman at Anheuser-Busch. Sarah has been a baggage service agent at Envoy Air for the past five years.

Like many parents throughout San Diego, Jonathan and Sarah work hard to give their children the best future possible. Even though they have good, steady jobs, they still need a hand up to have a safe, affordable home they can call their own. And they know that along with that home will come self-reliance, stability, and independence.

They are so pleased to have the opportunity to build and buy the “forever home” they have prayed for, and are grateful for the volunteers and sponsors who are making their dream come true.

Meet Our Future Homeowners | Frank & Angelica

Frank and Angelica have been married for 14 years. They have two beautiful daughters and are expecting a new baby boy in the fall. Frank is a wood finisher for Montbleau and Associates, and Angelica is a stay-at-home mom and recent college graduate. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences with a minor in Child Development. Angelica loves taking care of their growing family, and aspires to work in a group home with youth in the child welfare system.

Frank and Angelica have struggled financially over the years with only one income, but their greatest accomplishment has been creating the family they now have. Their sacrifices have allowed their daughters to grow into caring, compassionate, and hardworking individuals. The girls are very creative and enjoy anything that allows them to explore those interests, from drawing to language arts. When asked to describe her family, Angelica says, “We are a loving and united family. We work hard and care about others and try our best to bring light to the world.”

With rent steadily increasing at their apartment, Frank and Angelica felt like they would never get ahead. After their previous landlord sold the property to Habitat, they were thrilled to find out they could qualify for a new home that would be built on the property.

Owning a home will have a huge impact on their lives.  A home means stability; it means no more moving, renting, and overpaying. They will be able to save money for the children’s college funds and have a stable place to call their own. As future Habitat homeowners, Frank and Angelica are looking forward to thriving in life and not just surviving.

Welcome Yaqoob Family!

Husam and Noor Yaqoob understand what it feels like to live in a community without security, peace and stability. They came to the United States as refugees from Iraq 3 ½ years ago to escape constant chaos, strife and danger. They were not free to practice their Christian faith and it was a period in their lives they will never forget. They are so grateful to be residing in the United States now. “Smelling the fragrance of peace is such a blessing. Unless you lose it, you will not feel how significant it is. We cherish this blessing of being in a safe country.” The Yaqoobs are excited to learn about American culture and see how their family values as well as dedication to strengthening their lives and the neighboring community very much align.

Without Habitat for Humanity, the Yaqoobs know that owning a home would have been unattainable. For the past 3 years, they have been living in a small 2- bedroom apartment in El Cajon, encountering many difficulties with reoccurring pest control problems, noise disturbances, excessive maintenance issues, and an unsafe environment.

Husam has worked in networking and computers for 3 ½ years, already receiving two promotions. Noor received her Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Benghazi in Libya, and is now in the process of passing the four required exams here in the U.S. to pursue her pharmacy dream. “Indeed, with faith, perseverance and passion, no desire will fade away,” she says.

Husam and Noor are childhood sweethearts that grew up together playing in Noor’s grandmother’s garden. They now look forward to planting a permanent garden in their new home. As a family, the Yaqoobs like to make big breakfasts together and then go hiking to discover San Diego.

Natalee, age five, is in first grade and has so much enthusiasm for life. She loves to learn and spend time with her new friends. Noor says she never stops talking and teaches them correct pronunciations of words. Natalee enjoys afterschool programs, participating in Spanish, soccer and dance. She was a part of the Heartlight dance group of San Diego performing at the Del Mar Fair, and took piano and violin lessons, a very rare privilege in Iraq. Noor says that like “throwing a coin in a fountain or making a wish upon a star, this is what we hope for with our daughter growing up in America in our family home.”

In Husam’s words, “Becoming a homeowner will offer me serenity and peace of mind. I strive to provide my family with whatever they need emotionally, physically and financially. Most of my everyday hopes, wishes and prayers are addressed to their safety, well-being, contentment, settlement and everlasting continuous love.” And Noor added, “I want to chronicle our story correctly with all the emotion and gratitude that we have for San Diego Habitat for Humanity, all of its volunteers and those who blessed us with a stable and safe life after such turmoil. They have made my daughter and us very happy, and this is erasing all of the bad memories that we have and healing our wounds. We have many family blessings.”

Welcome, Yaqoob Family!

Meet the Pacheco Family

The Pacheco Family

The Pacheco family – Aquilino, Adelfa, Alejandra (14), Vivian (11) and Camila (3) has lived in an extremely small two-bedroom structure for the past four years. It is essentially a wooden shack with a septic tank, and exposed electrical wires hanging throughout. Aquilino cordoned off the second bedroom for his two daughters and installed a window in one part of the structure, which provides the only source of natural light in the entire home. The family had to purchase everything for the unit, including the refrigerator, stove, and carpet and is responsible for all repairs.

Despite the horrible living conditions, Alejandra and Vivian are excellent students. Alejandra was accepted into a prestigious private school, based on her academic merit, and recently had the opportunity to travel to China. Vivian loves to learn, and yearns for a comfortable, well-lighted place to study.
Aquilino and Adelfa work very hard to support their family, and are financially responsible. Aquilino works days at a restaurant as well as at a local agricultural nursery, and Adelfa works a retail night shift; the parents split child care duties, rarely seeing each other.
It will mean so much to the Pacheco family to have a three-bedroom home in Escondido, which will allow each member of the family the healthy space to thrive. The Pachecos, along with their friends and family, are committed to their partnership with Habitat to earn their new home!

How Do Habitat Partner Families Qualify, Anyway?

Have you ever wondered how families end up in their Habitat homes, or been interested in becoming a Partner Family yourself?  SDHFH’s unique program partners with hardworking families to offer the opportunity to own a simple, decent and affordable home of their own with an affordable mortgage payment. Habitat Partner Families go through a selection process that seeks homeowners based on their level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program through performing “sweat equity” in the building of their home, and their ability to repay an affordable mortgage.

Families who are interested in applying for a San Diego Habitat home first attend an orientation meeting where they get more information about the process and the financial qualification parameters.  This is the only place that potential Partner Families can obtain an official application.

Habitat for Humanity’s Family Selection Committee reviews all of the applications and selects families who qualify based on income and credit requirements. These families will have a home visit by members of the Family Selection Committee, which is a time to meet the family and assess the current living conditions and need.

Families who qualify after the home visit will meet with the entire Family Selection Committee, where they are scored on objective criteria, including financial capability, need, and willingness to partner with Habitat.  The Committee recommends final families to the Board of Directors of San Diego Habitat for Humanity, and a partnership/purchase agreement is executed after their approval.  Now, the family can begin their sweat equity hours, building their home, the homes of other Partner Families, or volunteering in our administrative offices or in the ReStore.

If you or someone you know are interested in starting the application process, please visit our upcoming events calendar to find out about upcoming orientation meetings.

For more information on qualification guidelines and the application process, please visit our homeownership page, or contact Shayna Hensley at

Partner Family Spotlight: The Munoz Family

Elizabeth, Zoey, and Aurelio

Aurelio, Elizabeth, and Zoey (3) have lived in a mobile home rental for the past two years. It is very old and the landlord allows it to be in perpetual disrepair. Part of Aurelio and Elizabeth’s bedroom floor is caving in, and the ground beneath is closing in. The roof leaks, the home is always damp, and there is a problem with mold, causing painful sties to form on little Zoey’s eyes.

Aurelio works very hard, and has recently been able to leave two very low-paying fast-food jobs to become a journeyman in the construction industry, learning a good trade and providing
more stability for his family. Although he is making strides in his career, the reality is that he and Elizabeth would never be able to purchase a home without the opportunity that Habitat for Humanity can provide.

The Munoz Family is looking forward to truly thriving in their new home. Zoey will have a backyard to play with her beloved Barbies, and the space to grow up healthy and happy.

Their new home was built during the Home Builders Blitz, and they are looking forward to completing their sweat equity and moving in!

Meet the Ramirez Family


The Ramirez Family has lived in their current  apartment in Pauma Valley for the past two years. Calling it an apartment is a stretch – it is more of a structure that the family has done their best to turn into a livable space. The boys share a sleeping space, and the parents sleeping space doubles as a kitchen.

The septic tank for the apartment complex is emptied twice per year and instead of taking the refuse away, the tank is emptied in a ditch near the home. The kids in the neighborhood are often sick, likely as a result of exposure to the waste.

Lionso and Elidia are very hard workers and have steady jobs. Son Ivan is a sophomore in high school and Lionso Jr. is studying Psychology at Cal State San Marcos.

Owning a home through Habitat will change the future of the Ramirez family. They will have a stable, safe, healthy roof over their head where they can thrive. They have already begun their sweat equity hours and are looking forward to their new life.

Partner Family Spotlight


“My future goals include providing my family with what they need for better health and education.” -Pedro Mendez

The Mendez family has lived in their current apartment for the past three years. It is an extremely small two-bedroom apartment in which Fabiola and her brother, Pedro, share a bedroom. As they grow older, each child is in desperate need of more private space.

Fabiola has rare “brittle bone” disease and is confined to a wheelchair for her safety. The cramped space of the apartment and the tiny bedroom she shares with her brother don’t allow her to move about in a safe way and can cause a major injury that would take weeks to recover from.

Despite the need for repairs to their apartment, the community manager remains unresponsive. There is also crime and drug use going on at neighbor’s homes. Pedro’s expensive tools, required for his job, have been stolen in the past, leaving the Mendez family concerned about the health and safety of their children.

The family yearns to live in a safer, healthier, more secure neighborhood, and is looking forward to purchasing their Habitat home. In addition to Pedro and Patricia’s traditional sweat equity hours, the children are proud to contribute by continuing to get good grades!

Welcome to the Habitat Family, Mendezes!

Partner Family Spotlight!

Wesley, Angela, and Landon currently live in a home built in the 1950s. The house has old wiring, lead-based paint, and termites in the roof, while poor insulation makes it very cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

The Linams have long desired to own their own home and hope to grow their family and provide their children with a safe place to call home. Owning a home in Lakeside will completely change their lives!

Wesley proudly served our country for five years as a member of the United States Navy and now works with veterans at the VA.  The Linam Family is currently working on their sweat equity (little Landon is a favorite around the office!) and are looking forward to joining the “Building for the Brave” community in Lakeside.

Wesley, Angela, and Landon Linam

Report Proves Habitat’s Mission is Vital in San Diego

According to a recent study by The California Housing Partnership Corporation (CHPC), San Diego has the second largest shortfall of homes affordable to low income families in California. Many of these families live in unhealthy or unsafe conditions, crowd multiple people into each room and still pay more than 50 percent of their income on rent. Since 2000, median rent in San Diego County has increased by 23 percent but the median income has decreased by seven percent, making it more difficult for low income families to afford a home.

Click here to read the CHPC report for these and more interesting findings about the state of housing in San Diego.

However, with your help, San Diego Habitat for Humanity is addressing this major challenge, providing affordable homeownership opportunities to low income families in the neighborhoods throughout San Diego County. The statistics in this report show exactly what Habitat wants to change, and how it truly does affect the lives of so many people.

San Diego Habitat for Humanity offers everyone a chance to make things better, and gives hope to so many. Becoming a part of Habitat’s mission can change the lives of families, one home at a time.